The South Sydney Rabbitohs have defeated the Penrith Panthers by 18-16 today in the final group game of Pool Red – the Panthers topping the pool on for and against.
The match started poorly for the Panthers with Eto Nabuli’s kick-off not travelling the required 10 metres and the mistake proved costly for them – Chris McQueen scoring first points for the Rabbitohs out wide to make it 4-0.
The story got better for the Rabbitohs when the ball bounced in-field from the ensuing kick-off before bouncing out, gifting the Rabbitohs possession. Off the back of the move, Souths put themselves in attacking position before Captain Ben Te’o crossed for a try to make it 8-0.
The Panthers turned it around with Kevin Kingston managing to plant the ball over the line despite a valiant defensive effort from the Rabbitohs out wide. Matt Moylan converted to make it 8-6.
The fight-back was short-lived though, with the Rabbitohs making full use of the next set of six before Apisai Koroisau sliced through a gaping hole to score to bring the score to 12-6 just before half-time.
After the break, Luke Keary showed great vision and kicking ability to put a perfectly-timed kick in behind the Pathers defensive line for Dylan Walker to swoop through and score.
Some poor defence from the Rabbitohs gifted the Panthers’ Campbell Gillard a converted try before Josh Mansour added his own four-pointer to bring the final score to 18-16 in the Rabbitohs’ favour.
The result means the Rabbitohs go through to the quarter finals to take on hosts – and only undefeated side in the competition – the New Zealand Warriors at 2.20pm AEDT.
Rabbitohs 18 (McQueen, Te’o, Apisai Koroisau, Dylan Walker tries; Apisai Koroisau goals)
Panthers 16 (Kevin Kingston, Campbell Gillard, Josh Mansour tries; Matt Moylan goals)